The operating room is a chaotic place. Even during routine procedures that pose few risks, surgeons are essentially racing against the clock to ensure they complete everything before the anesthesia has worn off or complications arise.

Doctors need to be cautious of moving too fast in the OR, though, because rushing through a procedure can also cause complications. For example, surgeons who do not make precise incisions can puncture an organ or damage nearby nerves. Likewise, those who race to complete a procedure as quickly as possible—which is often necessary in emergency scenarios—can fail to account for every sponge, scalpel, towel, clamp, scope, or mask that their surgical team uses.

Retained surgical bodies (RSBs) refer to medical equipment that healthcare providers mistakenly leave inside patients after completing an operation. Experts estimate that RSBs are fairly common, with approximately 1,500 cases occurring in the United States annually.

If you are being sued over an RSB, it is important that you start planning your defense immediately. The medical malpractice defense lawyers at Lubell Rosen will prepare your case as if it is going to trial, even if a dismissal or settlement is the expected outcome. Call (954) 880-9500 to schedule a consultation.

Common Defenses Against Medical Malpractice Claims Involving RSBs

Unfortunately, it is possible for even the most attentive and experienced surgical teams to leave a foreign object inside a patient. Potential defenses against claims involving RSBs include:

1. Incompetent Staff Members

Surgeons typically rely on medical technicians or nurses to track every tool used during a procedure. If the designated party fails to account for one or more items due to a lack of training, the patient may still have a valid malpractice claim; however, it would not be against the doctor who performed the surgery. Instead, it might be against the facility and its administrators for failing to vet their employees adequately.

2. Unexpected Complications

If unanticipated complications arise during a procedure, the lead doctor may require every member of the surgical team to focus on stabilizing the patient, thus abandoning their other duties, which might include tracking equipment. In such a scenario, the patient’s records and testimony from both eyewitnesses and medical experts will contribute to the defense.

Call (954) 880-9500 to Speak with a Medical Malpractice Defense Attorney in Florida